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Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation
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Applying gradients


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Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

with Dermot O' Connor

Video: Applying gradients

So here is our character. The colors are all blocked in and we'll get close now to be able to finally rig this. But there's one last issue with the color of the character that we need to address, and that's the color of the torso and how it relates to the right arm. And let me show you what I mean. So if you double-click on the body and the state or double-click on bd in the Library, and here we have our right arm and our torso and just watch what happens when we moved the right arm over the body. It disappears. This is going to happen naturally anytime you use this style of coloring.
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  1. 3m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
    3. Prerequisites
      1m 37s
  2. 34m 58s
    1. Creating Flash-friendly character design
      4m 57s
    2. Animation rendering: SWF or AVI
      2m 24s
    3. Understanding line tool drawbacks when animating
      7m 7s
    4. Using uniform project scales in Flash
      3m 40s
    5. Finding helpful extensions for Flash
      2m 46s
    6. Using commands and keyboard shortcuts
      9m 53s
    7. Setting up your workspaces
      4m 11s
  3. 1h 35m
    1. Understanding character rigging
      2m 0s
    2. Exploring underlying structure in character rigging
      4m 27s
    3. Vectorizing the character body
      6m 22s
    4. Outlining colors in an animated character
      6m 15s
    5. Vectorizing the hands
      6m 43s
    6. Vectorizing the head
      4m 47s
    7. Outlining the head
      8m 20s
    8. Adding finishing touches with hair
      2m 11s
    9. Colorizing the character head
      7m 28s
    10. Colorizing the body
      5m 33s
    11. Applying gradients
      6m 18s
    12. Symbolizing and pivoting the body parts
      10m 47s
    13. Pivoting the head
      4m 42s
    14. Rigging the mouth
      10m 49s
    15. Rigging the eye
      8m 33s
  4. 52m 22s
    1. Tween types: Shape vs. motion
      5m 41s
    2. Combining motion and shape tweening
      4m 31s
    3. Animating an eye blink using shape tweening
      10m 2s
    4. Rigging a mouth in Flash for dialogue and expressions
      5m 30s
    5. Creating a D mouth
      12m 29s
    6. Creating an F mouth
      6m 58s
    7. Getting the polished look
      7m 11s
  5. 1h 2m
    1. Overview of the head turn
      2m 13s
    2. Preparing the rig
      8m 15s
    3. Posing the rig
      7m 17s
    4. Animating the head movement
      11m 5s
    5. Animating the body movement
      12m 9s
    6. Animating the head turn
      11m 28s
    7. Adding finesse to the head turn
      9m 34s
  6. 2h 44m
    1. Introducing the walk
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a profile view
      8m 30s
    3. Creating the head in profile
      10m 10s
    4. Creating the hand
      6m 57s
    5. Creating hand symbols
      8m 32s
    6. Reviewing the walk
      3m 6s
    7. Prepping the walk
      8m 33s
    8. Setting up the contact poses
      6m 45s
    9. Creating secondary contact poses
      9m 38s
    10. Finishing up the contact poses
      6m 48s
    11. Creating the passing poses
      9m 39s
    12. Finishing the passing pose
      5m 56s
    13. Animating the recoil position
      10m 9s
    14. Animating the high point of the walk
      9m 24s
    15. Adding in-betweens
      8m 31s
    16. Rigging the shoes
      8m 27s
    17. Animating the shoes
      11m 58s
    18. Animating the character's head movements
      8m 29s
    19. Fine-tuning the animation
      9m 0s
    20. Nesting the hand symbols
      8m 39s
    21. Repositioning the walk
      4m 11s
  7. 1h 32m
    1. Introducing the walk in place
      1m 30s
    2. Setting up contact poses
      10m 4s
    3. Creating the passing poses
      7m 14s
    4. Creating the recoil positions
      8m 11s
    5. Animating the head's high point
      4m 9s
    6. Tweening the legs
      5m 11s
    7. Tweening the arms
      10m 27s
    8. Setting the placement of the foot
      9m 9s
    9. Animating the shoes
      7m 52s
    10. Animating the hair
      6m 9s
    11. Creating secondary hand actions
      8m 48s
    12. Animating the torso
      6m 27s
    13. Repositioning the walk
      7m 17s
  8. 54m 9s
    1. Understanding dialogue
      49s
    2. Using the A-F system of six set mouth shapes
      4m 23s
    3. Animating dialogue using the mouth rig
      14m 30s
    4. Integrating the dialogue with the head turn
      5m 35s
    5. Animating the jaw
      6m 59s
    6. Creating an angry dialogue mouth
      7m 43s
    7. Finishing the angry dialogue mouth
      6m 38s
    8. Integrating acting techniques
      1m 51s
    9. Tips on facial expressions
      5m 41s
  9. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation
9h 19m Intermediate Nov 17, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation, Dermot O' Connor explains the process of character animation in Flash, using nested symbols and motion and shape tweening to create believable characters. The course covers the process from start to finish, from rigging a character to creating a walk cycle animation. Along the way, Dermot demonstrates techniques such as animating eye blinks, head turns, and mouth movements during dialogue. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Rendering in SWF or AVI
  • Creating vectors for the the character body
  • Coloring the body
  • Rigging a mouth in Flash
  • Posing the rig
  • Animating head and body movement
  • Creating hands
  • Understanding facial expressions
  • Making the contact poses
  • Creating passing poses
  • Animating in-betweens
Subjects:
3D + Animation Web Animation Character Animation
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Dermot O' Connor

Applying gradients

So here is our character. The colors are all blocked in and we'll get close now to be able to finally rig this. But there's one last issue with the color of the character that we need to address, and that's the color of the torso and how it relates to the right arm. And let me show you what I mean. So if you double-click on the body and the state or double-click on bd in the Library, and here we have our right arm and our torso and just watch what happens when we moved the right arm over the body. It disappears. This is going to happen naturally anytime you use this style of coloring.

So there are a couple of different possible solutions and here's one that I made previously. This is for demonstration purposes. And this is an option you have. The only problem is it does solve problems but it also causes some. I'm going to show you what they are. Obviously now you can see where the arm is separate from the body and everything reads nicely. The only problem with this, even when you're very careful with it, let's say I want to reposition this arm into a new pose. I end up noodling with all these little corners and points and it doesn't take much for this thing to degenerate into a complete mess.

Honestly it's just not a fun way to work when you're working on that big scale, like arms or legs, and so I like to find ways that encourage me to animate and not punish me. So let me get into that layer and I'll show you a different possible way to solve this problem. So here is our original simple design and if we look at it with a Subselection tool, now we have got our-- We have simple six points instead of 20. So let's rotate this across the body, and to compare it to the other system if I want to position this guy into a new angle, pretty straightforward. Look at an outline you can see what I mean.

I can really distort this thing without worrying about all of the little triangles and everything. Of course, the problem being how do we tell it apart from the body? One way is to make the body a different color, and we can, you know, pick several of them. Then the problem becomes we can see the scene. Let me make this a little more extreme so you can see it. Now we can see this line. This is also ugly. So we don't want that either. So the solution is, you may have guessed this already. It's visible on our color reference. The simplest one I think is to make a gradient on the torso level. In order to do that we need a quick demonstration of the Gradient tool. Okay.

So I'm going to show you the Gradient tool, and make just clear the deck here for a minute, and I think that lot of people may regard the Gradient tool as a little ugly. It is limited. There is no question about that. But it does have certain options that are very-- kind of capable for simple basic shapes. So I'm going to pick Linear Gradient and then let's pick an extreme gradient, so we can see it properly. Select the Fill tool and important sometimes to make sure Lock Fill is not active. Because Lock Fill, this little gadget down here, can prevent you from making dynamic changes and discourage you actively from actually doing any thing with the gradient.

So let's make sure Lock Fill is not active. We can paint our linear gradient any number of ways. You can see it appear too. Ignore that. So the linear gradient is fine for cylindrical shapes and such, but for organic shapes the radial might be more appropriate. And let's see you want to alter the gradient to fit a particular form. That's when you need to use the Gradient Transform tool and that's here, beneath the Free Transform tool. So let's click on our area and as you can see, we got this circular widget and by scaling that in we can rotate this, we can play with it, and we can adapt it and modify it to fit various shapes.

The other thing to watch out for this triangle change is the focus of the center, so if you want to create things like billiard balls or pool balls or whatever, even different kinds of shadow effects, this is very useful. The other thing you can do is you can add more colors to your gradient, visible in the Color panel. You can make them different colors. You can make them different transparencies by playing with this. So the scope for effect is pretty substantial. So let me get rid of that. By changing the position of the colors on your swatch you change how they map on to the Gradient tool itself.

So this is the new gadget that we'll be using to color that torso. So let me go back into there, and I'm going to steal these colors from the color model. You can apply any different colors and play with this as you see fit. So let's select the radial gradient. We want to fill the torso with that, click. And the first thing that'll likely happen is you'll see something that's completely hideous, so then you use the Gradient tool. Sometimes the Gradient tool leads off the screen like this. It drives me crazy, to be honest.

And what you end up having to do, luckily just once, is zoom out, grab the gadget and bring it back in again until you can see it. So again if that happens, that's the solution. So we position it with the center of the gradient will be our shadow area, which is similar to this. And rather than have it be a sphere, which will look kind ofa weird, let's try to match it as closely as we can to the torso, so that the brighter outer color, which would be identical to the arm, will be at the outer edge of this. Make sure Snap is off, so we can align it a little more closely.

And then it's a matter of playing with these colors. Now if you want to sample a color for your gradients, it's very simple. Double-click on the color itself, and you can select it like that. If you want to add another color on a gradient to give it a little more of a depth or a more natural feel so it fits the curve of the torso a little bit better, simply by moving it, if you look carefully, you can see where the terminator of the shadow is. It's becoming sharper and sharper as I push the color on the palette here. That's obviously too extreme. Let's pull it back in. Now we're getting something that looks very natural.

Let me zoom in to the joint where the arm is, and that's pretty nice. We can see where the arm is crossing the torso. We're not seeing an ugly separation up here. And if I do a quick test, select the arm, and use the Free Transform tool, and pull the arm across the body, that's really nice. So we can see that everything is working pretty well. And you can change the position of the gradient. You can tween it. If you have to adjust your animation, you can do that. You're not a prisoner of this actual position.

So that is the torso problem solved. In the next session, we will go forward and symbolize the different body parts and we'll pivot them and make sure that they are all named and stacked properly in the library for easy use.

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